By Kathryn Matthews
Ahhh….the days of summer are passing ever so quickly. Why? How? I ask these same questions every year. At the start of summer, it seems we have all the time in the world. Eight weeks later—we find that we’re fast rolling toward a season’s end. So, while I can, I’m indulging in a last passionate fling….with late summer produce.
My favorites at farmers’ markets and farm stands this time of year?
Asian eggplant: I’m drawn to long, smooth-skinned slender ones—whether dark purple, pale green, or white—with firm but springy flesh that gives a bit when pressed.
Tomatoes: I like mine blemish-free (no cracks, bruises or spots); firm but supple; vibrant in color; and to smell of sun and soil—in other words—like sun-ripened tomatoes.
Summer squash: I pick my way through the large, thick ones (because they’re old and tough) in search of “baby” yellow zucchini that’s small, thin and unblemished.
Baby Yukon Gold potatoes: I love the silky feel of these petite, thin-skinned orbs in the palm of my hand.
Sweet corn: when choosing, I look for those telltale signs of freshness: an abundance of slightly sticky, golden-brown silks (the strands attached to the husk), a husk that feels plump and full, and a stem that feels moist, yet firm.
How best to celebrate this summer bounty? See “At the Stove: Five Easy Pieces…”